Equate Scotland is excited to be piloting our new SQA accredited module ‘Train the Trainer – Mentoring Women in STEM Apprenticeships’ module, in partnership with West Lothian College.

We know that women are underrepresented across STEM, however gender segregation in apprenticeships is even starker. While women make up around 41% of apprentices, they make up only 10% of all STEM related apprenticeships including 1.7% of Construction, 6.1% of Engineering and 18% of Information and Communications Technology Modern Apprentices[1].

There is recognition of the need to provide additional support to women working within a predominantly male workforce, and a number of studies have found a link between mentoring and apprentice retention rates. Research suggests that ‘mentoring is one factor found to improve retention among apprentices, including those from groups not traditionally employed in the sector’[2].

This SDS funded SCQF level 7 module will equip candidates to understand the impact unconscious bias may have on women working in STEM apprenticeships; understand good practice in creating mentoring systems in the workplace, including useful tools and resources; and understand how to develop, deliver and evaluate  training sessions for their colleagues.

Equate Scotland developed the module, and invited West Lothian college to partner on hosting and delivery of the module:

“West Lothian College are delighted to be working in partnership with Equate Scotland. When we were approached with the opportunity to partner with Equate Scotland to develop and co-deliver the pilot launch of the ‘Train the Trainer – Mentoring Women in STEM Apprenticeships’ module we were thrilled. 

As an MA training provider and an institution with links to circa 600 local employers, we are fully aware of the barriers faced by female apprentices. We recognise that this module will provide invaluable training allowing workplaces to develop their knowledge and practices whilst having a structured mentoring plan for female apprentices.  We fully anticipate that organisations undertaking the module will reap the benefits in terms of recruitment and retention of female apprentices coupled with development of their workforce. 

West Lothian College look forward to delivery of the pilot and the subsequent roll out of the accredited module.’ Lynn Bain, Depute Centre Head of Workforce Development, West Lothian College.”

There are still a limited number of free places available on the first course which will take place at West Lothian College on 22nd August. For more information on how to book a place, please contact Kirstie Farmer:


[1] SDS Modern Apprenticeship Statistics Quarter 2, 2015/16 https://www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk/media/40507/modern-apprenticeship-statistics-quarter-2-2015-16.pdf

[2] Marangozov R, Bates P, Martin R, Oakley J, Sigala M and Cox A (2009) Research to Shape Critical Mass Pilots to Address Under-Representation in Apprenticeships, Brighton: Institute for Employment Studies

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